Corcoran gains Chelsea project from Shvo

By Lauren Elkies | August 06, 2008 03:01PM

The Corcoran Group has taken over the marketing and sales of a Chelsea conversion project from marketer Michael Shvo. 

Corcoran’s Julie Pham, vice president and associate broker, and Joseph Bongiovanni, a salesman, are now the co-sales directors at 650 Sixth Avenue.

The 67-unit, seven-story, landmark building at the corner of 20th Street is being developed by Penterium, the residential development arm of Korean firm Kumkang Housing Corp. This is the developer’s first project in the United States. 

On Shvo’s watch, the building was 35 percent sold. After Shvo started marketing 650 Sixth Avenue in June 2007, he played up the apartments as blank canvases and partnered with the Jack Shainman Gallery. In a nod to the surround Chelsea art scene, Shvo and the gallery displayed art in the sales office and in a point-click-and-drag feature on the building’s Web site.

Shvo also got the building placed on the Soap Net show “The Fashionista Diaries” last year.

When asked why Shvo is no longer marketing the project, the company e-mailed a statement: “Shvo played an integral role in shaping the concept of 650 Sixth Avenue and bringing it to life. After a successful collaboration, Shvo is focusing on its other projects as its local and international property portfolio rapidly expands in North America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and abroad.”

Hoon Lee, executive manager of Penterium, mentioned Corcoran’s size as an advantage.

While some developers are shying away from new projects, Lee said “Kumkang Housing has the financial solvency to weather any real estate market cycle. As a result, the company is not discouraged by current market challenges.”

Corcoran started selling units on Monday, but plans to officially re-launch the project in September, in a traditionally more active season for the real estate market. Bongiovanni said a launch party will be held in September on the building’s 3,600-square-foot Rooftop Terrace.

The prewar conversion has studios through three-bedrooms, including three penthouse units with terraces. Units range in size from 750 square feet to 2,600 square feet, and prices range from $900,000 to $6 million. The apartments are ready for immediate occupancy.

The units have ceilings that are 10.5 feet and higher, oversized windows, a full-time doorman and porter, a live-in super and storage included with each purchase on each floor. 

In addition to the gym in the building, the developer is offering buyers one year’s worth of David Barton Gym yoga classes, held twice weekly on the rooftop of 650 Sixth Avenue. The package is valued at $1,500 to $1,600 a person per year, Bongiovanni said.